Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

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CLaSP researchers hear Dan Rather keynote address at AGU Fall Meeting

Posted: December 19, 2017

CLaSP researchers hear Dan Rather keynote address at AGU Fall Meeting Journalist Dan Rather, from his keynote address at the 2017 AGU Fall Meeting

This past week, Climate & Space department faculty, researchers, and students attended the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union in New Orleans. Each year, over 21,000 scientists from across the globe travel to attend what is considered the premier Earth and space science meeting in the world. 

Attendees present research, hear about the latest discoveries, trends, and challenges in the field, and network with others in their field to share their findings and explore opportunities for collaboration. 

One of the showcase events at the conference is the Presidential Forum, a keynote address in which AGU President Eric A. Davidson sums up the achievements of the organization, followed by a notable speaker. Before the keynote address, audience members were treated to an interview with former NASA mathematician and subject of the film Hidden Figures, Katherine Johnson.

Climate & Space department faculty, researchers, and students were in attendance for this year's guest speaker, veteran journalist Dan Rather. Mr. Rather gave a talk entitled, "A Return to Reason," in which he emphasized the importance of communication for the scientific community. “I want to see a revolution in how we communicate science,” he said. Rather feels a sense of urgency in today's politically charged environment, and sees our society at a crossroads. 

“We find ourselves in a moment of reckoning,” he said. “Are we going to guide our future by science, reason, and knowledge, or are we going to succumb to superstition, ignorance, and propaganda?” 

Watch the full Presidential Forum with AGU President Davidson, the interview with Katherine Johnson, and Dan Rather's keynote address here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoUCcKhg90c&t=1056s